The MacBook Air’s environmental progress report

How did my list of “Hopes and predictions” fair at the Keynote this morning? At the top of my list was an ultrathin notebook with WiMAX capability. No 3G support whatsoever for the MacBook Air, though. They went with 802.11n Wi-Fi.

After announcing the iTunes movie rentals, Steve Jobs brought out 20th Century Fox Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos to do a little verbal backslapping of the partnership between his company and Apple. In the course of his comments, Gianopulos happened to mention Blu-Ray in a way that signaled he had all but concluded Blu-Ray would win the format war. Certainly seems more and more likely every day, but Jobs had no Blu-Ray announcements for us.

Neither did he have any new iPhones.

My biggest hope was for a truly green Mac, and that hope faired extremely well. No, we didn’t get the first fully recyclable, 100% toxin-free, super-energy-efficient machine, but Jobs had prepared a presentation on the environmental friendliness of the MacBook Air, and he stated that he would deliver an environmental progress report with every product Apple announces henceforth. That is huge: It means Apple has really taken the mandate for a greener Mac to heart, and is committed to being the leading environmentally responsible computer manufacturer they should have been all along.

Here are the details of the MacBook Air’s environmental progress report:

– Fully aluminum, fully recyclable casing
– Mercury-free display with arsenic-free glass
– Circuit board is BFR-free and PVC-free
– Packaging contains 50% less volume than previous Macs

It doesn’t go as far towards true sustainability and ecological responsibility as we could hope, but it’s a pretty good start.